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The Great Shots 2021

The Meloy Art

13 nov. 2021

The history of photography will officially celebrate its 200th anniversary next year, since the French inventor Nicéphore Niepce first captured a landscape on a tin plate.

Aesthetics and engineering combined, and we now know how much this process has changed the way we look at the world around us. For the history of art, in particular, it has constituted a critical point: the meaning, the form, the intention will never be the same again; even if the subjects are the timeless. The elements, landscapes, portraits, the woman-muse, the moon: immemorial fascinations. The exhibition presents some of the key works of these discoveries.Lewis Rutherfurd, the first astro-photographer, photographed the moon in all its details in 1865: an image that undoubtedly influenced the Lumière brothers for their famous Voyage dans la lune. The pioneers knew these links between disciplines: the Scottish painter and photographer Robert MacPherson (1814-1872) - the first photographer authorized to capture the Vatican - declared at the height of his career: "I am a photographer to this day, without feeling that I have given up art or renounced my title of artist". The painter's touch is present in the photograph of Waterfall, which was part of the exhibitions that propelled his career, both in Rome and in the United Kingdom. Ichida Sota (1843-1896), one of the pioneers of photography in Japan, leaves us with testimonies of the rural life of his country, its customs, atmosphere and costumes; while Nadar (1820 - 1910) democratized the art of portraiture.

But it was not until the interwar period that photography was fully considered as a privileged means of expression for artists. Iconic works are the testimony of this. At the heart of this exhibition, we have jewels signed Man Ray (1890 - 1970), Brassaï (1899 - 1985), François Tuefferd (1912 - 1996), Jeanloup Sieff (1933 - 2000), or André Villers (1930 - 2016): more or less close to the surrealist current, these artists have magnified the woman, the abstraction, and immortalized their peers of the artistic scene, by an art of portraiture and staging.

It is in this line that the Chinese-American artist Benjamin Lee and the French photographer Antoine Poupel inscribe themselves. Lee, famous for his reinterpretations of Magritte's and Picasso's portraits, worked for four years alongside the great Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, in an aesthetic close to her works and to pop art. Poupel, in the same way, reinterpreted the universe of Sam Szafran, to whom he was close during his lifetime: after his departure, he paid homage to him by magnifying his studio in Malakoff, his plants, his staircase in the form of a DNA structure; his countless paintings. Zoia Skoropadenko, with her Apple Series, also pays tribute to the people she has met along the way and who inspire her daily. Her sketches, a genre in which she excels, complement this exhibition that celebrates the quick glance: a few lines, 2-3 minutes of posing, and the mood is there - a shorter "exposure" than was used for MacPherson's waterfall or Rutherfield's moon.

Dale Dorosh offers a counterpoint to the photographic work: far from the instantaneous, his ceramics are also witnesses to a chemical reaction that fixes reality. The interplay of metals, fire and oxygen is, in a way, fixed, "photographed" by the earthenware at the heart of the kiln.

With photography, it is the eye that becomes the creator: the photographer's talent lies in capturing the moment, putting the spotlight on a subject, magnifying the visible by placing it in a frame.

After the success of the exhibition Great Masters of Ukraine, the Circle of Zoya and The Meloy Art organize the second exhibition of the fall, this time in the context of Paris Photo 2021: GREAT SHOTS brings together photographers of all times who open us to their view of our world ... and to the moon.

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